Doris Elizabeth Prouty quilts exhibit at Cape Ann Museum

Intricate quilted works by Doris Elizabeth Prouty (1947-2020), a talented self-taught African American quilter who lived in Gloucester for 40 years, will be exhibited at Cape Ann Museum’s Janet & William Ellery James Center, beginning June 11 through July 31. The exhibition is called In Her Mind’s Eye.

Working in vibrant colors and incorporating an array of shapes and patterns, Prouty’s quilts are founded in the traditions of African quilt makers and vividly capture scenes and stories about her life and community on Cape Ann. Beginning in the 1980s with traditional block patterns, Prouty moved on to applique quilts which are at once functional and beautiful. With this transition, her work became increasingly complex as she explored narratives of social and climate justice, feminism, family, and Black history.

“Doris Elizabeth Prouty elevated the art of quilting to a high level, and this exhibition will offer a new artistic dimension to how we view the area’s beauty and vibrancy,” Museum Director Oliver Barker said.

In Her Mind’s Eye opens on Saturday, June 11 with a day-long celebration from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the James Center. During this celebration, Doris’ daughter Ila Prouty will lead an activity making quilt collages while artists Claudia Parachiv and Sika Foyer will lead an interactive installation of Coming Back Together.

On Sunday, June 19, the Museum is partnering with the North Shore Juneteenth Association and Community Engagement member Toni Waldron to present the Gloucester Juneteenth Festival, and Prouty’s work will be highlighted.

Here are details for those related exhibition events:

Opening Day: Doris Prouty
Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Janet & William Ellery James Center
Cape Ann Museum Green, 13 Poplar Street, Gloucester, MA
Free for CAM Members, registration required.

Second Saturdays: Quilt Collages
Saturday, June 11, 2022 from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Downtown Campus, 27 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA

Gloucester Juneteenth Festival
Sunday, June 19, 2022 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Cape Ann Museum Green, 13 Poplar Street, Gloucester, MA
This program is free and open to the public.

CAMTalks: Exhibition Series
Not So Naive: Growth of a Quilter
with Ila Prouty
Saturday, July 16 at 2:00 pm
Cape Ann Museum Green
13 Poplar Street, Gloucester, MA
Free and open to the public

CAMTalks: Exhibition Series
Coming Back Together
with Claudia Parachiv and Sika Foyer
Saturday, July 23 at 1:00 pm
Cape Ann Museum Green, 13 Poplar Street, Gloucester, MA
Free and open to the public

About the Museum

The Cape Ann Museum, founded in 1875, exists to preserve and celebrate the history and culture of the area and to keep it relevant to today’s audiences. Spanning 44,000 square feet, the Museum is one of the major cultural institutions on Boston’s North Shore welcoming more than 25,000 local, national, and international visitors each year to its exhibitions and programs. In addition to fine art, the Museum’s collections include decorative art, textiles, artifacts from the maritime and granite industries, a Library & Archives and a sculpture park in the heart of downtown Gloucester.

In Summer 2021, the Museum opened the 12,000 square foot Janet & William Ellery James Center at the Cape Ann Museum Green. The campus also includes three historic houses – the White-Ellery House (1710), the recently acquired Babson-Alling House (c.1740), and an adjacent Barn (c. 1740), all located on the site at the intersection of Washington and Poplar Streets in Gloucester.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $12.00 adults, $10.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors, and students. Youth (under 18) and Museum members are free. Cape Ann residents can visit for free on the second Saturday of each month.

For more information please call (978)283-0455 x110 or visit

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